Circles.Life downsizes 5% of global headcount


Circles.Life has reportedly said that less than 5% of its global headcount has been laid off. In a Business Times article, the telco said that this comes as part of a downsizing exercise that has been ongoing since November 2019.

The BT article added that all departments were impacted, while Rohan Talwar, Circles.Life head of corporate development was quoted stating that as a performance-based company, the bottom 10% will be the first ones to go. Marketing understands that a mix of management and executive level staff were let go. Circles.Life has declined to comment.

The news around restructuring comes shortly after Circles.Life bagged an undisclosed amount of funding from private equity firm Warburg Pincus to grow and become cash-flow positive in existing markets Taiwan and Australia. The telco said then that the funding will be used to further accelerate its expansion into new markets within and beyond APAC. In an earlier conversation, a Circles.Life spokesperson told Marketing then through this funding, the telco aims to scale its personalised digital services vertical to increase customer engagement.

The telco was birthed out of frustrated Singaporeans Rameez Ansar, Adeel Najam and Abhishek Gupta who claimed that they faced lock-in contracts, poor customer service and rigid mobile plans just like the rest of Singaporeans. The telco which entered the Singapore market three years ago, has constantly banked on giving freedom back to consumers. Circles.Life has been in the Singapore market since 2016, and is known for its tongue-in-cheek stunts and audacious on-ground activities. 

Meanwhile, there has been a couple of leadership changes within Circles.Life at the start of 2020. Megan Yulga, ‎senior regional manager - brands and campaigns of Circles.Life, took on the new role of head of creative shop at the telco. In her new role, she will be in charge of building Circles.Life's in-house creative agency called the Creative Shop. Yulga said that the Creative Shop is the hub of all Circles.Life content whether it is to drive awareness or for campaigns, acquisition optimisations or engagement with new features such as in-app polling. 

Shortly after, senior regional manager of omnichannel marketing Gaurav Gupta was promoted to head of omnichannel and martech platforms. He has been with Circles.Life for four years, and established the digital marketing practice for Circles.Life. Gupta was also primarily responsible for a full-stack omni-channel strategy, planning and implementation to drive customer acquisition and improve the customer experience. 

Last week, Circles.Life cleverly released a "cat" onto the streets and public transport around Singapore to test out its 4G+ coverage. This came as part of an ad on The Straits Times, which was addressed to fellow telco friends. The ad read: “Our customers are the best. We’re grateful and humble to have each and every one of them in our experience. Thanks Singapore for continually ranking us #1. Must be all that ‘power to the people’.”

Circles.Life also made headlines for its open letter to big boy competitors Singtel and StarHub accusing the two of mimicking its plans and products. This saw the brand then receive a taste of its own medicine when fellow challenger telco Zero Mobile took shots back at it.

The telco also recently appointed The Secret Little Agency (TSLA) as its lead regional creative agency. The appointment comes shortly after a creative review that saw 50 agencies expressing interest, and led to a shortlist of 27 agencies. The two companies announced the relationship through a (fake) Facebook relationship status update. 

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